- 17 February 2021
- 5 min read
What Do Support Workers Get Paid In The UK In 2021?
We take a look at how much Support Workers are getting paid in the UK this year, and how much you will earn in your first job.
Topics Covered In This Article
Support Workers play a vital role in assisting vulnerable people to live healthy, independent lives.
They can work in a variety of settings, from care homes and hospitals to people’s own residences.
But what sort of salary can you expect as a Support Worker?
What is the career progression?
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This guide answers the key questions surrounding Support Worker pay in the UK.
What Is The Average Wage For A Support Worker?
The average salary for a Support Worker is around £19,000 a year.
This reflects industry statistics from job boards, as well as salary banding information from the NHS.
Pay varies regionally, with salaries inevitably highest in Greater London.
What Is The Starting Salary For A Support Worker?
The average starting salary for a Support Worker is approximately £17,000 a year.
Starting salaries in the NHS are slightly higher.
What Does A Support Worker Do To Earn This Salary?
The responsibilities of a Support Worker typically include:
• Assessing the needs of the vulnerable people you help
• Making assessments and care plans
• Providing emotional support
• Working closely with families to create personalised care
• Budget management
• Managing internal and external activities
• Working with other agencies to make referrals
• Maintaining personal records
Do Support Worker Salaries Differ Between The NHS And Private Sector?
Pay is actually very similar in the NHS and privately. In the NHS, a domestic Support Worker typically starts at a Band 1 or 2 salary, which is around £18,005 a year.
With enough experience, this salary grows well beyond £20,000 a year.
One key point of difference is the fact that private pay is impossible to accurately pinpoint.
Different employers and care providers in the private sector can set their own rates of pay – and those rates are unpredictable.
Benefits vary too.
In the NHS, benefits like holiday and maternity pay are transparent and consistently generous.
Every position should be taken on its own merit.
How Do You Become A Support Worker?
You don’t need any formal qualifications to become a Support Worker.
GCSE grades A to C in English and maths are often required as a foundation, and an NVQ or similar qualification in health or social care is often desirable.
Some roles may require an NVQ2 in Care, while more senior jobs might demand an NVQ3.
However, many employers will be happy to allow you to acquire those qualifications on the job.
The care sector has struggled to recruit and retain enough staff for many years, so all employers are open-minded about potential candidates.
The only thing they will always need are the right personality traits – qualities like compassion, patience and resilience.
In our video by a Support Worker, Ese Kanayo, you can find out how to get a Support Worker job.
What Roles Can A Support Worker Progress To?
There are lots of options for Support Workers to take their careers in new directions – potentially leading to salary increases in the process.
One option is to become more specialised.
You could become a family Support Worker, or focus on drug addiction or mental health.
With some in-house training, working in a specialised area like this would likely see your salary go beyond £20,000 quite easily.
Another option could be to move into the charity sector.
The charity sector is often keen to recruit former Support Workers with relevant experience in working with vulnerable children or older people.
Roles that are commonly listed in this area include family support project workers, and salaries are likely to start at around £18,000.
Support Workers who work with children are often recruited by youth offending teams too.
These roles sometimes require a social work qualification, but often, plenty of relevant experience is enough.
A role of this nature could start at around £23,000.
And it’s also very common for Support Workers to train to become Social Workers.
This would lead to a good pay rise and many more career opportunities, but it does also require some dedicated study.
Many employers will offer sponsorship, allowing you to earn while you acquire your social work degree.